Lonny was once a software programmer (video game industry). He now teaches psychology at King University. He has a bachelor's in IT and a PhD in psychology.
What is WSDL?
WSDL, or Web Services Description Language, is a format of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). It helps web services communicate by sending data about their functionality and features to one another. WSDL uses a simple format to describe what each web service provides without you knowing much about that service beforehand. It exposes communication endpoints, which are spots that grant clients access to the service and allow web applications to exchange messages with each other.
The Information Desk
Think of WSDL as the information desk for a service provider. You may not know much about a service yourself, but you can access the information desk which holds all the information about that service, where all of your questions are understood and can be answered. Each service may have multiple information desks or endpoints, each serving the needs of various customers. It's all about the operations that each service performs and the messages it uses to interact with your computer, the client, so you can get access to the services they provide.
As previously mentioned, WSDL is a format of XML. WSDL code consists of little chunks of useful or meaningful information enclosed in named tags so that they can be easily located. They are called elements. Some elements used in WSDL include type, service, message, binding, operation, port, and port type.
An Example of WSDL
Here's a simple example of a WSDL file that describes a reverse phone directory lookup service:
As you can see, a WSDL file is really just a list of carefully worded items that help a service expose its capabilities to potential clients. Using this format, a web service can offer just about anything to end users, without either party knowing much about the other beforehand.
WSDL, or Web Services Description Language, is a format of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) which allows web services to communicate with one another about their functions and features. This communication takes place at its endpoints, which are a bit like information desks that connect customers to services. WSDL code consists of little chunks of useful or meaningful information enclosed in named tags so that they can be easily located. They are called elements. Some elements used in WSDL include type, service, message, binding, operation, port, and port type. The job of WSDL is to speak in such a common way that nearly any service provider can understand what is required and assist end users in reaching the services they need.
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